Harris takes the upper hand during vice presidential debate

By AMANDA GIAMPAGLIA
On October 13, 2020

Photo courtesy of Joe Biden, Flickr

This past Tuesday, Mike Pence and Kamala Harris faced off in the 2020 vice presidential debate. This debate was nowhere near as heated as the first presidential debate, but there were definitely some hard-hitting questions asked, and in regard to Mike Pence, some not answered.

This debate was mediated by Susan Page of USA Today. I personally do not think that she did a good job because she was unable to keep each party within their time frame, Pence being the main culprit of this. 

Additionally, Page could not get Pence, and sometimes Harris, to answer the question she had asked. This was extremely frustrating, because the questions that Pence danced around were questions I know that I and most other voters wanted to hear the answers to. 

When Page asked them a new question, Pence would constantly go back to the question before, and he would not even answer the question that he was just asked. It was frustrating to watch him never discuss important issues and topics addressed in Page’s questions.

One particular answer of Pence's that felt incredibly unacceptable was when he said that he believed justice was served with the Breonna Taylor case. "I trust our justice system, a grand jury that reviews the evidence," he said. "And it really is remarkable as a former prosecutor, you would assume that an impaneled grand jury looking at all the evidence got it wrong."

This answer truly angered me because justice was not served in the Breonna Taylor case. Her neighbors' wall got more justice than she did. As our current Vice President, I had hoped that he would empathize with a woman who lost her life for no reason, but in reality, I was not surprised to hear his apathetic response.

Something else that irritated me was how often Pence would interrupt Harris. This is something that we saw Trump do just the week before to Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. I understand that this is a debate, and when things get heated people will interrupt each other. However, Pence would constantly go over his time limit, a transgression his party agreed not to commit beforehand.

I found this to be unprofessional and plain rude. Not only would he constantly go over his allotted speaking time, but he would constantly interrupt Harris. Her response to one of his many interruptions, "Mr. Vice President, I'm speaking," was one of my absolute favorite moments of this debate. 

Harris was distinguished from the start. Her response to Pence interrupting her again was perfect. I honestly do not think she could have said it better. She was not rude, and her comment was not uncalled for. In my opinion, throughout the debate Harris did much better than Pence, but I can acknowledge that she did not answer all of the questions she was asked. She also occasionally interrupted Pence and went over her time, but this was nowhere near as much as Pence did. 

I do not think that anyone won this debate, but I do not think Pence presented well enough to encourage people to vote for the Trump administration. I think this debate did not help people make a solid decision if they were completely unsure of who they wanted to vote for, but if someone was leaning towards one side, this debate likely helped them figure out their preference.

 

agiampag@ramapo.edu

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